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How To Expertly NOT Answer A Question

December 21st, 2006 · No Comments

I see this all the time on forums, mailing lists, newsgroups and so called expert knowledge websites. Folks responding to a problem without really answering the question but giving all kinds of useless suggestions on the way they THINK someone should be doing something.

Here is a great example of a completely useless response from a so called Linux Networking Expert Certified Expert Sage Level.

The so called Sage opens his response with:

I read your question as being how best to cause sshd to start up with that option.

This is a great start. It sounds like this sage understand exactly what the person asking the question is looking for. I'm expecting a really good answer from this sage.

This sage's next sentence begins with:

The “more generic solution” for a local LAN …

He then proceeds to go way off topic and explains this more generic solution which has nothing to do with the real question. He then goes on to explain a hack type of solution that is going to work for precisely less than 2% of situations. And again, doesn't really answer the original question anyway.

What is worse is that this so called “Experts Exchange” community recommends this answer for points when other answers are clearly more appropriate. I have no idea how this community and points work but I can say that I wouldn't trust any so called sages on this site whatsoever if this is the norm.

You can find this expert non-response here.

Category: General


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